Clearview AI client list reportedly stolen


Clearview AI, the controversial facial recognition startup that's gobbled up more than three billion of our photos by scraping social media sites and any other publicly accessible nook and cranny it can find, has lost its entire list of clients to hackers - including details about its many law enforcement clients. The startup's technology is deployed by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the United States for various different programs and uses. The hacker didn't access any histories conducted by customers, which include some police services, said Clearview AI.

"Security is Clearview's top priority", said company attorney Tor Ekeland in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. "Our servers had been by no means accessed".

Clearview AI scrapes photos from online platforms, and was estimated in a New York Times report in January to have collected some three billion images.

According to documents obtained and reported by BuzzFeed News , Clearview AI's facial recognition software has been used by people in more than 2,200 law enforcement departments, government agencies, and companies across 27 countries.

The breach has given hackers unauthorised access to facial recognition firm Clearview AI's client list, which includes several US government agencies, such as the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed in the article the exchange had tested Clearview's software regarding its "unique needs around security and compliance", but added customer data had not been used in any of its tests. "We patched the flaw, and continue to work to strengthen our security".

An intruder gained unauthorized access to a sensitive facial recognition database. It often gives free trials to law enforcement agencies, who then buy licenses to use the app, the Times reported.

Facial recognition startup ClearviewAI reportedly has thousands of clients from numerous industries, including the FBI, Interpol, the National Basketball Association and Walmart. It is now fighting legal battles with Google, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook as it used their user data.

Even though Clearview's CEO, Hoan Ton-That, had earlier asserted that the software was only employed by law enforcement departments and that its operations are centered on Canada and the U.S., as per an anonymous source that disclosed the total client list to BuzzFeed.

Several major tech companies, including the likes of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have already asked the company to stop its practices and issued a cease and desist notice. "But you can't change biometric information like your facial characteristics if a company like Clearview fails to keep that data secure", Markey said in a statement.